Isn't that beautiful? I watched it this morning, I found it from this fascinating website, Rewriting the Rules, which is about love and relationships but from every angle, including loving ourselves, which is where being happily alone comes in.
Then, as part of an online poetry course I am taking part in which brings in philosophy and physics (and so much more) I was pointed towards this very interesting article on the science of loneliness - an excerpt:
Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. ... The psychological definition of loneliness hasn’t changed much... not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the “shut-upness” and solitariness of the civilized. Nor is “real loneliness” the happy solitude of the productive artist or the passing irritation of being cooped up with the flu while all your friends go off on some adventure. It’s not being dissatisfied with your companion of the moment—your friend or lover or even spouse— unless you chronically find yourself in that situation, in which case you may in fact be a lonely person. ... Loneliness - and this will surprise no one—is the want of intimacy. [The full article is here]
I also just finished reading an astonishing novel, The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud, which I devoured and which left me shaking by the end, so perfectly did it seem to address everything I am thinking about right now. It is about a woman my age living alone and feeling unseen, and her struggles about her anger at the way her life has gone, her desire to be an artist, friendship, family, relationships. It almost feels trite to try and summarize it this way, let me just recommend it to you highly, I think it's a masterpiece.
For me, all three of these - the film, the article and the novel - tie up: being a creative person, I have a deep need for the proper kind of aloneness that enables me to delve into myself in order to write, and this never produces loneliness. But I have to watch out that I do what is necessary to avoid it tipping over into loneliness, if I don't ensure that I get enough social contact of the right kind - as an introvert - with the people who feed me rather than deplete. It's quite a difficult thing to navigate, I am finding right now, living on my own without even a beloved pet for the first time for 16 years, alongside the promise that I will be able to immerse myself in writing in an entirely different way living alone, which both excites and somewhat scares me.
What do you do? Do you have strategies for "good" aloneness and avoidance of loneliness, whether with others or by yourself? How does that fit in with/feed/inspire your writing?